Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Walsh Poll

The Hill has a story about a poll done for Jim Walsh:

The poll, conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Stonecash of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, shows Walsh leading Maffei by more than a 2-1 ratio across New York's 25th District.

Jack Cookfair, Walsh's media consultant, hired Stonecash to conduct the poll.

Jim Walsh is headed for a comfortable re-election victory this fall, Cookfair wrote in a memo to members of the Walsh for Congress finance committee. His across-the-board numbers are as strong as they've ever been, while the Democrat Dan Maffei has utterly failed to gain any traction whatsoever in the race.

The poll showed that 78 percent of respondents had not heard of Maffei and that 4 out of 5 agreed with the statement that Walsh is trying to do the right thing in Washington. It also showed Walsh drawing the support of 30 percent of Democrats surveyed.

Jim Bonham, Maffei's media consultant, questioned why the survey data were made public through a memo drafted by Walsh's media consultant and not by the pollster.

"He's only going to publish what's most favorable to his candidacy, said Bonham, who said that if nearly 80 percent of voters didn't know Maffei and Walsh led by around a 2-1 ratio, that would put the incumbent's reelection number the percentage of voters willing to reelect him over someone new at around 45.

Bonham said Maffei would gain ground by exposing Walsh's record of voting with [President] Bush 9 out of 10 times.

Walsh's people are obviously trying to change opinion that he is vulnerable, but actually this move suggests to me that he is more vulnerable than he wants to let on. I suspect the numbers show Walsh leading around 54 - 27, I also suspect all polling done in this race has shown numbers similar to that. Which would mean that Walsh's 125K media buy didn't move the numbers in the race. Up until after this poll was conducted Dan Maffei was preparing for a primary campaign, so what exactly has he done that would really move numbers? Nothing really, the media buy was small and wasn't going to move lots of people. In campaigns there are things a lot more important that horse race numbers at this point, like fundraising, organization and expectations, all three of which Dan Maffei has.

The question is, if Jim Walsh really isn't vulnerable, why leak this memo? If Walsh is impervious why not encourage the DCCC the target him, it would just force them to waste their resources. This ithought outther poorly thoughtout move by the Walsh camp, they keep trying to end Dan Maffei with ridiculous moves like this and the early media buy, but with the featherweight triumvirate of Dan Gage, Jack Cookfair and Jeff Stonecash heading up Walsh's campaign what do you expect?


At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other Republican incumbents have used a similar tactic to this one - doing a poll early while the Democratic challenger's name recognition is low - to suggest that the race will be an easy victory. Sweeney, for example, did the same thing to Kirsten Gillibrand in NY-20. However, as soon as Maffei raises enough money to get his name recognition up, it's a different ballgame. The numbers in NY-25 show voters want change. (See the the March article in the Post-Standard on the poll conducted then.)

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Maffei better get going if he's planning on winning. I'm going to be voting for Dan and continue to tell people about him, but I do agree that he has not made traction yet.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is only so much someone in Dan's position can do unless they are a millionaire who can swamp the TV networks.

Yes, Dan can get his endorsements, raise a finite ammount of money from individuals, and publish op-ed in the newspaper. He has done all that stuff.

But 'traction' requires more then that. It requires people, like us, reading this blog, to help him.

If you have had any conversation with anyone pertaining to how bad Bush is, go out of your way to get in touch with that person and tell them about Dan. Talk to people outside your confort zone.

Dan's bumper stickers on your car wont hurt either.

We have to motivate and fight the huge forces of inertia protecting Walsh to reclaim CNY.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger The Watcher said...

anonymous @ 11:44,

You are right, this is just like that poll. I forgot about that, thanks for reminding me. Polls be damned, both Walsh and Sweeney are vulnerable. Remember the numbers are only a snapshot of this moment in time.

anonymous @ 11:55,

It's still early in the race. Dan Maffei is still switching gears from primary to general. He had made all the right moves in the primary focusing on fundraising and locking up endorsements early. How smoothly his primary campaign was run gives me a good feeling about his campaign for the general. The problem is it is summer and most people aren't pay attention to politics yet. Instead hopefully Dan Maffei is laying the groundwork to gain traction come the fall. I think the fact that the race keeps moving up in The Hotline's rankings, Rahm Emanuel has thrown strong support behind it and the fundraising numbers have been consistent means a whole lot more in terms of how much traction Dan can gain than any poll numbers in a race that has hardly engaged yet.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger unionmark said...

The campaign will be won or lost in the field - period. People have to be willing to talk to their neighbors about Dan and why it's important to talk to them.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UnionMark is right. We need to help Dan through his field work. As a matter of fact, I have heard through the grapevine, that Dan's campaign is going to be organizing a literature drop this weekend in the town of Clay. I urge everyone to come out to Dans headquarters and participate in the first of many volunteer efforts to get Dan's name out so that we can change these polls, and show how vulnerable Walsh really is.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So basically, the suggestion is to work with Dan's campaign to distribute literature door to door and meet people 1x1. Republicans may possibly slam the door in your face. But Democrats or Independants will hear us out and thats the chance to spread the word about what he is doing.

If you even meet one person who leans Democrat but was not going to vote, and if you convince that person to vote for Dan, ya did yer job for the day. I dont think its a hard sell at all, cause Walsh and Bush are so bad, and Dan is a very positive and intelligent candidate.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sound Familiar?

Maffei's campaign released a memo summarizing the poll's findings, but not the complete poll itself. Since the memo is all that Maffei's camp received from the pollster, the campaign is not required to release the full poll, said Lee Daghlian of the state Board of Elections.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger The Watcher said...

anonymous @ 5:25,

What's your point?

At 10:48 PM, Anonymous TomT said...

Polls at this point in the cycle mean very little. Of course Walsh is going to be ahead if most people haven't heard of Maffei. And this early on most people haven't heard of the challenger, regardless of who it is. This is _exactly_ the same thing as the poll Sweeney leaked on Gillibrand.

At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the same crap Dan did, honestly I would rather hear what the two of them have to say about the issues that matter to CNY, not how I am supposed to think about them.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger The Watcher said...

anonymous @ 11:03,

We get it, you're a Republican and you want to take cheap shots at Dan Maffei.

Your point is stupid, both Dan Maffei and Jim Walsh released their polling memos to DC insider publications. Dan Maffei's was first in Roll Call and Jim Walsh's was in The Hill, neither have much of a readership in Syracuse outside of 100 South Clinton Street. Maffei's was later picked up by the PS as will be Walsh's, but that's only because Fred Pierce won't write anything but process stories.


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